Smiley’s Ice Cream to Move Closer to Bridgewater

New Location Will Offer Increased Seating and New Products

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  • Due to COVID-19, Smiley’s Ice Cream has converted to a single walk-up window with no seating available. The new location will provide options for both indoor and outdoor ordering and seating.

    Photo by Kalli Walling

  • The new Smiley’s Ice Cream location, at the intersection of Don Litten Parkway and Dinkel Ave., will be about a half mile closer to Bridgewater College than the current location. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the community support and Mt. Crawford Creamery,” said Assistant Manager and Marketing Specialist Kalli Walling.

    Photo by Kalli Walling

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Samantha Hince, Associate News Editor

Bridgewater, Va. – Smiley’s Ice Cream will be moving to a new location this spring with the aid of a state grant, providing more indoor and outdoor seating and more parking space for customers. 

The new shop will be located at the intersection of Don Litten Parkway and Dinkel Avenue, about a half mile closer to the Town of Bridgewater from the current location at Mt. Crawford Creamery. Once the new shop opens, the current shop will close. 

Groundbreaking for the new shop has been delayed due to weather, but owner Derek Smiley, class of 2004, is still hopeful that the shop will be open and operating sometime in June. 

In preparation for the project, which was announced in a press release from Governor Northam on Jan. 29., Smiley applied for and received the Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Forestry Industry Development Grant. Rockingham County agreed to match the state’s grant of $20,000, resulting in $40,000 towards the project.

There are several factors that contributed to the need for a new location, according to Smiley. These include the need for increased seating for customers, both indoor and outdoor, the need for more parking space for customers and the need for more indoor storage space. 

Owning an ice cream shop, rather than just renting the space, is also one of Smiley’s personal goals. The new location meets all of these objectives. 

“Right up the road is really close; we’re still within visual distance of the farm, and it’ll give us plenty of space to expand,” said Smiley

The new shop will feature more indoor seating than the current location — including a separate room for parties or meetings. There will also be a covered porch on two sides of the building with outdoor seating, as well as a 10 ft. concrete area with additional tables and chairs and a grassy area.

Smiley’s has also received approval to build an outdoor covered pavilion, but that might be two to three years in the future, according to Smiley.

The new location will be an easier walking or biking trip for Bridgewater College students, due to the closer proximity to campus. Smiley also hinted that the Town of Bridgewater may have some plans to improve safety on Dinkel Ave. 

“I think the town has some exciting things as we get into our location to make it easier for students to walk to our shop,” said Smiley. 

Although the shop will no longer be located on Mt. Crawford Creamery’s property, Smiley’s will continue to use the farm’s milk and cream for all of their ice cream products. 

“That’s kind of why we wanted to stay close,” said Assistant Manager and Marketing Specialist Kalli Walling. “Nothing but the location and address is changing. We will still be partnering with Mt. Crawford Creamery.”

Increased production and storage space will also allow Smiley’s to begin developing new products. 

“We’ll have a lot more space for what we need to continue to grow,” said Walling. “We started ice cream cakes about a year ago, so that was another add-on that we have that we just need a lot more room for manufacturing, production and all that.”